Cor baby that’s really free

Man assaulted in the street and subsequently arrested after shouting, “Andrew, you’re a sick old man” at Prince Andrew.

The report is silent on what happened to his attackers.

That’s probably ok though, shouting at someone at their mother’s funeral is beyond the pale and should have the full force of the law applied as a consequence.

Similarly, it’s right that this woman, arrested for holding a sign saying, “Abolish the Monarchy”, should face the legal consequences.

What about this one, then?

Man required to give details to police after holding a blank piece of paper at the Queen’s coffin procession.

Are we happy with these police interventions?

Which one was the overreach of the state, in your view, and why?

Bill’s Opinion

The slippery slope fallacy may be a logical mistake, but one can slide a long way before the descent is halted.

All three of these examples are unacceptable restrictions of freedom of speech and expression.

In the UK, the legal standard restricting free speech used to be “grossly offensive” – repeatedly posting pornographic images to somebody, for example.

Now, the standard has not only been reduced to merely offensive, but there doesn’t need to be an identified victim of the offensiveness either.

From nearly 21 years ago:

……why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this
chamber – a democratically elected government. Their leaders are
self-appointed. They hate our freedoms – our freedom of religion, our freedom of
speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

I’m not convinced.

6 Replies to “Cor baby that’s really free”

  1. Yes – none of these people should’ve had any contact with the plod; the guy shouting at Andrew might’ve been a complainant, depending on how badly he was assaulted. I could understand plod just leaving that one alone – “hey, you want to get that offensive, you’re taking your chances,” but taking deliberate action against him is unacceptable.

  2. In a polite, well mannered society such interventions would not be required (though I’ll concede getting a tune up from bystanders may be a critical part of said society). It would be understood that there is a time and a place for voicing your opinion and that a time of mourning is neither.

    Personally I don’t have any strong feelings about the monarchy one way or the other, I care about them about as much as they about I. I continue to be as baffled at the interest/wringing of hands over Dianna as I was when she died. Likewise any interest in the members of The House of Windsor leaves me scratching my head. As far as I can tell they’re your typical unimaginably rich people, just with posh accents.

  3. Plod had legitimate grounds to remove the mouthy lout. For his own protection. His mouth was about to get him hospitalised. There was a danger of an excitable crowd getting stuck into him & perhaps more than just he getting hurt.

    A similar removal of someone happens roughly once a month in my working life.

    1. Plod had legitimate grounds to remove the mouthy lout.
      Possibly – as you say, for his protection. I don’t think they needed to arrest him, did they? It’s possible it was misreported – but given recent attitude and actions of the UK plod, I think its equally probable that they overstepped their legitimate authority.

    1. Interesting.

      The entire piece leans on the definition of “simplest”. As in, “the simplest explanation is most likely correct”.

      I’ve always used the number of unproven assumptions as my guide to that definition.

      Evolution versus creation, for example; millions of years of small changes across generations versus unknowable deity creating species using an unknown process and not being caught in the act.

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